Undefeated lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is the rightful favorite heading into his title unification bout against Dustin Poirier, but former lightweight title challenger turned welterweight hopeful Kevin Lee believes ‘The Diamond’ may have the tools to pull off the upset on Sept. 7.
Speaking to renowned podcast host Joe Rogan on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, ‘The Motown Phenom’ said Poirier’s footwork could be key in stopping Nurmagomedov’s takedowns and, if successful, it could prove to be a ‘long night’ for ‘The Eagle’.
“The way Dustin’s footwork was looking, that is what makes you think about it,” Lee said, per BJPenn.com’s Cole Shelton. “Khabib is a one train mind, he is going to come at you. You know what he is going to do, too. If Dustin can, not even necessarily can outwrestle him, it is way easier to play defense on wrestling than offense. And, if you have got great footwork like that to keep your back off the fence. It might be a long night for Khabib. It is a good fight. He’s southpaw, that is going to play a big factor in it. It is a little harder to get in on those shots.”
Poirier was the betting underdog heading into his interim title bout against Max Holloway at UFC 236 but that didn’t stop the Louisinanan from outboxing Holloway enroute to a convincing unanimous decision win. Poirier, a former featherweight contender, is on a four-fight win streak and holds wins over the likes of Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis.
UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier takes place later this year, September 7 at du Arena in Abu Dhabi.